Does it feel like “What are you doing for the holidays?” is a loaded question this year? You’re not alone. Whether you’re doing the usual or changing up your plans, there’s bound to be some stress and strain making its way into your psyche – and maybe your relationship. Here are four “C’s” to help avoid unnecessary stress and strain between you and your partner.Read More
My brother recently got married. During the reception, they played the game where the bride and groom sit in chairs back to back. They each hold one of their own shoes and one of their spouse’s shoes in each hand. The DJ then reads off a series of questions, such as, “Who is the better driver?” or “Who is a night owl?”, and the newlyweds raise the shoe of whomever they think the answer is. It’s entertaining to see how similarly (or not) the couple responds!
One of the questions for my brother and his new wife was, “Who has the crazier family?”Read More
We all get annoyed with our partner from time to time. It’s inevitable. Sometimes it’s the little day-to-day things – their habits, quirks, or moments of forgetfulness. The laundry that they’ve tossed on the floor, not filling up the car with gas despite there being only a smidge left, leaving the carton of milk out on the counter. Or maybe it’s the repetitive habits like cracking knuckles, smacking gum, or clicking of a pen when they’re making the grocery list or working on paying the bills.
Then there are the bigger things that usually don’t happen all that often, but that really annoy us to the point of questioning our partner’s intentions. Things like double-scheduling an event on a day they knew we had other plans, or not doing a task we specifically asked them to do. We wonder how they could be so inconsiderate, instead of seeing it as an innocent mistake.
Either way, we get annoyed. But what we do with that annoyed feeling, how we deal with it, makes all the difference in the impact on your relationship in the long term. Annoyance can go unaddressed and turn into frustration and resentment, or you can tackle it head on and resolve it before those insidious emotions take root.Read More
Let’s go back in time. Think about when you were a kid. Are there things your family did that you were later surprised to learn was not how everyone else did it?
Did you keep butter in the fridge or on the table? Were birthdays a week-long celebration or not that big of a deal? Did you sit down at the dinner table every night at 6:00pm on the dot? Are there things you do a certain way today simply because that’s how it was always done in your home growing up?
The fact is, what we experience in our family of origin (which is the people who raise us and who we spend most of our childhood with) often does show up in your couple relationship in one way or another. How so? The following scenarios demonstrate three ways family of origin experiences can manifest in your relationship:Read More
How do you spend your emotional energy?
The world is heavy. We feel it. It’s hard to escape. And the weight of it all might be seeping into your relationship. It’s not a question of how to build a fortress to prevent the events of your community or society from penetrating your relationship; it’s a question of what amount of energy you devote to feeling those feelings, and at what cost.Read More